Thomas of Celano

Last updated
Servant of God
Thomas of Celano
O.F.M.
Priest
Bornc. 1185
Celano, L'Aquila, Italy
Died4 October 1260 (aged 75)
Val de'Varri, Rieti, Italy
Resting placeSan Francesco di Tagliacozzo
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Attributes

Thomas of Celano (Italian : Tommaso da Celano; c. 1185 – 4 October 1265) was an Italian friar of the Franciscans (Order of Friars Minor) as well as a poet and the author of three hagiographies about Saint Francis of Assisi.

Italian language Romance language

Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to Vulgar Latin of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. In spite of not existing any Italian community in their respective national territories and of not being spoken at any level, Italian is included de jure, but not de facto, between the recognized minority languages of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Romania. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both standardized Italian and other regional languages.

Italy in the Middle Ages History of Italy during the Middle Ages

The history of the Italian peninsula during the medieval period can be roughly defined as the time between the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and the Italian Renaissance.

Friar member of a mendicant religious order in Catholic Christianity

A friar is a brother member of one of the mendicant orders founded since the twelfth or thirteenth century; the term distinguishes the mendicants' itinerant apostolic character, exercised broadly under the jurisdiction of a superior general, from the older monastic orders' allegiance to a single monastery formalized by their vow of stability. The most significant orders of friars are the Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians and Carmelites.

Contents

Life

Birth

Thomas was from Celano in Abruzzo and was born in 1185.

Celano Comune in Abruzzo, Italy

Celano is a town and comune in the Province of L'Aquila, central Italy, 120 km (75 mi) east of Rome by rail.

Abruzzo Region of Italy

Abruzzo is a region of Southern Italy with an area of 10,763 square km and a population of 1.2 million. It is divided into four provinces: L'Aquila, Teramo, Pescara, and Chieti. Its western border lies 80 km (50 mi) east of Rome. Abruzzo borders the region of Marche to the north, Lazio to the west and south-west, Molise to the south-east, and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Geographically, Abruzzo is divided into a mountainous area in the west, which includes the Gran Sasso d'Italia, and a coastal area in the east with beaches on the Adriatic Sea.

Works and Franciscan life

Incorrupt remains in the tomb. Tagliacozzo Reliquie Beato Tommaso da Celano.jpg
Incorrupt remains in the tomb.

The first of his works on Francis was Vita Beati Francisci ("The Life of Blessed Francis"; often called the "First Life"), a work on the saint's early life that was commissioned by Pope Gregory IX in 1228 at the time Francis's canonization. The second work, Memoriale Desiderio Animae de Gestis et Verbis Sanctissimi Patris Nostri Francisci ("The Memorial of the Desire of a Soul Concerning the Deeds and Words of Our Most Holy Father Francis" often just called the "Second Life") was commissioned by Crescentius of Jessi, the Minister General of the Franciscan Order sometime between 1244 and 1247, and reflects changing official perspectives on Francis in the decades after his death. The third is a treatise on the saint's miracles, written sometime between around 1254 and 1257 at the bidding of Blessed John of Parma, who succeeded Crescentius as Minister General.

Pope Gregory IX 178th Pope

Pope Gregory IX was Pope from 19 March 1227 to his death in 1241. He is known for issuing the Decretales and instituting the Papal Inquisition in response to the failures of the episcopal inquisitions established during the time of Pope Lucius III through his papal bull Ad abolendam issued in 1184.

Canonization act by which Churches declare that a person who has died was a saint

Canonization is the act by which a Christian church declares that a person who has died was a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the "canon", or list, of recognized saints. Originally, a person was recognized as a saint without any formal process. Later, different processes were developed, such as those used today in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion.

A treatise is a formal and systematic written discourse on some subject, generally longer and treating it in greater depth than an essay, and more concerned with investigating or exposing the principles of the subject.

Thomas's authorship of the three works on Francis of Assisi is well-established. Thomas also wrote Fregit victor virtualis and Sanctitatis nova signa in honor of Francis. Life of St. Clare of Assisi, on the early life of Saint Clare of Assisi and the hymn "Dies Irae" are also traditionally attributed to him, but the authorship of both works is in fact uncertain.

Clare of Assisi Italian saint

Saint Clare of Assisi is an Italian saint and one of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. She founded the Order of Poor Ladies, a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition, and wrote their Rule of Life, the first set of monastic guidelines known to have been written by a woman. Following her death, the order she founded was renamed in her honour as the Order of Saint Clare, commonly referred to today as the Poor Clares. Her feast day is on 11 August.

Thomas was not among the earliest disciples of Francis, but he joined the Franciscans around 1215, during the saint's lifetime, and evidently knew him personally. In 1221, Thomas was sent to Germany with Caesarius of Speyer to promote the new order there, and in 1223 was named "sole guardian" (custos unicus) of the order's Rhineland province, which included convents at Cologne, Mainz, Worms, and Speyer. Within a few years he was back in Italy, where he seems to have remained for the rest of his life, with some possible short-term missions to Germany.

Holy Roman Empire varying complex of lands that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe

The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories.

Rhineland historic region of Germany

The Rhineland is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly its middle section.

Convent Religious community

A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, or nuns; or the building used by the community, particularly in the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

Death and burial

In 1260 he settled down to his last post, as spiritual director to a convent of Clarisses in Tagliacozzo, where he died some time between 1260 and 1270.

Tagliacozzo Comune in Abruzzo, Italy

Tagliacozzo is a town and comune in the province of L'Aquila, Abruzzo, central Italy.

He was at first buried in the church of S. Giovanni Val dei Varri, attached to his monastery, but his body is now reburied in the church of S. Francesco at Tagliacozzo.

Beatification process

The process for beatification was initiated in Avezzano; the Congregation for the Causes of Saints declared the process valid and allowed for the opening of the so-called "Roman Phase" on 27 November 1991. The initiation of the process prior to this date granted him the title Servant of God.

Books

Related Research Articles

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